There are obvious divine interventions in my life as I reflect on the path that has led me to where I am today. The road has not been smooth at times. Rolling down a steep embankment describes some of the memories from years gone by. The feeling of being out of control; the kind of out of control that led me into less than optimal situations. I was born out of wedlock to a drug addicted mother. She shared with me in my teenage years that she actually tried to miscarry me several times by living recklessly. She told me this, not with remorse, but with the most nonchalant attitude. As you may well imagine; I have felt unwanted and unloved for most of my life. The world is supposed to stand against you, not your mother. She is supposed to love, support, nurture and protect you.
There were bright spots I remember as a child. Because of my mom’s lifestyle, I was raised by my grandparents until I was about five years old. My Granny and Papa were my best friends. Those early years that mold the rest of a young child’s life are as important as any. I am thankful for my grandparents stepping up for me.
As a teenager and young adult, I live a harmful lifestyle. Caring only for myself; not caring about anyone or anything else. I was bent on destroying every good thing in my life. Failed marriages and children living in broken homes. Trust me when I tell you, I live with deep scars that only Heaven will cover. Sadly, I have not always been the father my kids need. Not because I didn’t love or care for them; but because I didn’t know how to show it.
Through the grace and mercy of God, He sent my wife to me. Her faith and love of God was something I had never seen before. I remember telling her that I wished I could believe in God with the capacity she did. She was more than patient with me as she tried to introduce me to the Lord. She chose her battles with me, but she would take every opportunity to speak truth and love into my life. Then in 1999 we were sitting in church, I was there reluctantly to make her happy. I don’t remember what the sermon was about, only that I heard the voice of God speaking directly to me. I’m sure He had spoken to me before, but this time it was different! I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior that day.
There was still a lot of work God needed to do in me. I floundered for several years trying to live in the flesh and in the Lord. I was still struggling with the demons that haunted my dreams and my pride kept me from seeking help. We fell out of church and didn’t look back. Fast forward several years, our two youngest sons were attending private Christian school. The providence of God amazes me. Our youngest son accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior. Well, we get a visit by a deacon in the church who asks if our son can follow through with believer’s Baptism. Our answer was of course. So the day of the Baptism service came and we attended in support of our son. This church was different. We were greeted, accepted and made to feel as though we had always been there. We kept coming back, week after week, and before we knew it we had “church friends”. This was a big deal for me. I had men who cared for me and through them I learned what a man of God looked like. To my surprise, I really enjoyed God’s church and His people.
It was in this church that I found the true Jesus. I found God’s people and learned to care about more than myself. I learned how to be a godly husband to my wife, godly father to my kids and a man of integrity. Don’t get me wrong, I am still a work in progress, but praise God He never gave up on me! Sitting in the pew one Sunday morning, God impressed upon me that He was calling me into the Ministry. I surrendered to His call in short order. I am still in awe that not only did God not leave me to my own destructive devices, but He saved me, restored me, transformed me and called me to His service.
I am humbled when I tell you that all glory goes to God for how he chooses to use each one of His children. If any part of my story resembles your story; remember God is still in the business of transforming what the world says is useless into His masterpiece. Let Jesus rewrite your story!
In His service;